Yankees fall to Red Sox 8-4; drop in wild card
On a day when manager Joe Girardi said leadoff hitter Brett Gardner could miss the rest of the regular season because of a strained muscle in his rib cage, the New York Yankees absorbed another pain loss.
The Yankees fell to Boston for the fourth time in just over a week, beaten by the Red Sox 8-4 Friday night on Jarrod Saltalamacchia's tiebreaking grand slam in the seventh inning.
''We just have to keep pushing and winning games and see where we fall at the end,'' Girardi said. ''There's no give up in this team.''
New York dropped two games behind the Rays for the AL's final wild-card spot after Tampa Bay beat Minnesota 3-0.
The Yankees had won three in a row. Last weekend, Boston took three of four games at Yankee Stadium.
Hiroki Kuroda continued his recent winless stretch while working through a rough start. He gave up four runs in the first inning.
''I was probably overcautious with my pitches early on,'' he said through a translator. ''My pitches were not particularly good, but I kept the timing off the hitters later.''
Kuroda (11-11) allowed five runs, eight hits, walked two and fanned two in six-plus innings. He's 0-4 with a 6.69 ERA in his last six starts.
''Never thought Kuroda would be there in the seventh the way everything started for him,'' Girardi said.
Before the game, Giradi said Gardner will be lost for a lengthy period, not good for a team winding down the season trying to make the playoffs.
''He's going to be out a while,'' he said. ''Rib cages don't heal real quick. It's not like it's just a few days. Is it possible it could be the rest of the year? Yeah.''
Saltalamacchia hit a tiebreaking grand slam in the seventh inning, Koji Uehara closed with another perfect inning for the streaking Red Sox. Boston owns an 8 1/2-game lead over the second-place Rays.
Uehara breezed through the ninth. He's retired 37 straight batters, the longest streak by a reliever since Bobby Jenks of the White Sox set down 41 in a row in 2007.
Robinson Cano went 4 for 4 with three doubles and two RBIs for New York.
Brendan Ryan, acquired from Seattle on Tuesday for a player to be named, hit his first homer with the Yankees.
Brandon Workman (6-3) got the win, retiring one batter.
The Red Sox scored four times in the first off Kuroda, but the Yankees came back to tie it.
After Daniel Nava struck out, Saltalamacchia hit his third career slam, connecting off Claiborne for a drive over Boston's bullpen into the right-field seats.
Trailing 4-2 in the seventh, the Yankees chased Boston starter John Lackey and tied it Cano's bases-loaded, two-run double off reliever Craig Breslow. New York had runners on second and third, but Workman got Alfonso Soriano on a bouncer to third.
Nava singled home a run and Drew hit a two-run double off the Green Monster, just inside the foul line.
With pitchers warming in the bullpen behind him, Kuroda looked as if he was on the verge of being pulled when Boston threatened in the second and third. The 38-year-old right-hander responded by escaping a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the second and held the Red Sox scoreless after a leadoff double the next inning.
Lackey gave up four runs on seven hits in 6 1-3 innings.
Ryan homered into the first row of seats above the Monster, cutting it to 4-1 in the third.
Lyle Overbay's sacrifice fly made it 4-2 in the sixth.
NOTES: There was a brief delay in the seventh when third-base umpire Alfonso Marquez walked down the left-field line and had security eject a fan. ... Girardi said C Austin Romine ''took some swings and felt better.'' He sustained a concussion on Tuesday. ... CC Sabathia (13-12, 4.82 ERA) is slated to face Boston's Jon Lester (13-8, 3.86 ERA) on Saturday. ... New York 2B Cano made a nice over-the-shoulder grab on Will Middlebrooks' pop to short right. ... Yankees DH Alex Rodriguez said his sore hamstring is getting better and he might be able to play third again on Tuesday.